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Did I Take the Right Decision?

husainaa
Community Leader
Husain A Member Since: Sep 26, 2017
1 of 36

A client offered me a rate of $0.01 per word for my translation services and I refused. After reviewing a sample of my work that I had submitted, he increased the rate to $0.015, and said he can't afford more than that; I declined his offer, again, and never heard from him since. It was supposed to be a long-term business relationship. At first, I was absolutely certain that a rate of $0.015 for a more or less technical text is insulting; however, today, a few day later, I am not so sure. I know there isn't a definitive answer, but I would like it if you shared your perspectives.

petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
2 of 36

Which language pair? What do you charge your clients outside Upwork?

 

Some translators are cheap at $ 0.10 per word. Some are too expensive at any price.....

husainaa
Community Leader
Husain A Member Since: Sep 26, 2017
3 of 36

@Petra R wrote:

Which language pair? What do you charge your clients outside Upwork?

 

Some translators are cheap at $ 0.10 per word. Some are too expensive at any price.....


 English to Arabic. Upwork is the only platform I work on. I've done enough research to know I deserve better, but it just occured to me that this knowledge doesn't have to be the determining factor, does it?

versailles
Community Guru
Rene K Member Since: Jul 10, 2014
4 of 36

Average rates charged for translations

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"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless
husainaa
Community Leader
Husain A Member Since: Sep 26, 2017
5 of 36

@Rene K wrote:

Average rates charged for translations


Thank you for that. A rate of $0.015 per word sounds even more ridiculous than it did back then.

petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
6 of 36

@husain A wrote:

@Rene K wrote:

Average rates charged for translations


Thank you for that. A rate of $0.015 per word sounds even more ridiculous than before.


 It IS ridiculous, but the rates you are looking at on that table are those experienced translators. You seem to be saying that you are not a translator and are just starting out with no experience.

Someone who more or less knows 2 or more languages is not a translator, but someone who more or less knows two or more languages.

 

It would be safer for you to concentrate on translating only into Arabic. Most translators (real ones) translate exclusively into their native language, unless their client has the budget for extensive editing of the output.

 

The rates for translations on Upwork vary dramatically. Arabic is a language with a lot of freelancers competing at very low rates, and even in the "more exensive" languages the rates can range from a franction of a Cent a word to over 20 Cent and more per word. I saw someone offer to pay $ 0.003 (yes, less than a third of a Cent) per word for German yesterday....

petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
7 of 36

@husain A wrote:

@Petra R wrote:

Which language pair? What do you charge your clients outside Upwork?

 

Some translators are cheap at $ 0.10 per word. Some are too expensive at any price.....


Upwork is the only platform I work on. I


 I am confused. If you are a translator you must know what you normally charge. ARE you a translator?

husainaa
Community Leader
Husain A Member Since: Sep 26, 2017
8 of 36

@Petra R wrote:

 I am confused. If you are a translator you must know what you normally charge. ARE you a translator?

Yes, of course I do. I didn't answer because I haven't worked outside Upwork, yet. I would normally charge $0.04 per word and that's based on some calculations I made; calculations that might be irrelevant to Upwork. You can access my profile page, right? 

versailles
Community Guru
Rene K Member Since: Jul 10, 2014
9 of 36

@husain A wrote:


I would normally charge $0.04 per word and that's based on some calculations I made; calculations that might be irrelevant to Upwork.


That's what entry and low-level translators charge on Upwork. Not saying it's wrong to charge such low rates, there are different markets on Upwork that cater for different type of clients. Also, while 10 cents a word is more in line with the industry standards, not everyone has the skills that match with those rates.

 

A beginner, or a person who is not a trained translator who wants to earn pocket money can offer their services in the lower tier of the market. On the other hand, clients who pay the industry standards often stick to industry practices, which means working with QA and proofreaders. They demand very high quality and won't hire people who can read a foreign language. They will hire professional translators.

 

Whether you're fine with 1-4 cents per word is up to you. If you can get work for higher rates and work with more professional clients, do not hesitate. If you would rather focus on less demanding clients, there is a market for this. No one but you can tell what are the best business choices for you.

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"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless
petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
10 of 36

@Rene K wrote:

@husain A wrote:


I would normally charge $0.04 per word and that's based on some calculations I made; calculations that might be irrelevant to Upwork.


That's what entry and low-level translators charge on Upwork.


 No, it's not... They charge from less than a Cent (often a fraction of a Cent) to a Cent and think they died and have gone to heaven when they get offered two Cent a word. Take a look at jobs in the cheap languages, and often even the traditionally more lucrative ones.... Remember the German farmer who was farming out her jobs (which she won at under 2 Cent a word??)

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